Holiday Notice

Hello everyone. We are shortly moving to a new, bigger premises so website ordering will be closed for the next month while we move everything to our new building, reorganise and do a full stock take. We will be open again at the start of November. Many thanks. Console Passion

Sony Playstation

The first conceptions of the Playstation console date back to 1988. Nintendo had been attempting to work with disk technology since the Famicom, but the medium had problems. Its rewritable magnetic nature could be easily erased (thus leading to a lack of durability), and the disks were a piracy danger. Thus, when word came out of a new optical storage technology being developed by Sony and Philips, Nintendo was interested. Nintendo approached Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on, tentatively titled the "SNES-CD". A contract was struck, and work began.

In 1991, the SNES-CD (now titled the Play Station) was to be announced at the June CES. However, when Hiroshi Yamauchi read the original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo and learned that it allowed Sony 25% of the profits from the machine, he was furious. He deemed the contract totally unacceptable, and secretly cancelled all plans for a joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment.

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Indeed, instead of announcing their partnership, at 9AM the day of the CES, Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln stepped onto the stage and revealed that they were now allied with Philips, and were planning on abandoning all the previous work Nintendo and Sony had accomplished. Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa had (unbeknownst to Sony) flown to Philips headquarters in Europe and formed an alliance of a decidedly different nature- one that would give Nintendo total control over its licenses on Philips machines.

The 9am CES announcement was a huge shock. Not only was it a complete surprise to the showgoers (Sony had only just the previous night been optimistically showing off the joint project), but it was seen by many in the Japanese community as a massive betrayal- a Japanese company snubbing another Japan-based company in favour of a European one was considered unthinkable in Japanese business.

Initially, Nintendo's abandonment of the joint project caused Sony to consider halting their research, but ultimately the company decided to use what they had developed so far and make it into a complete, stand alone console. This led to Nintendo filing a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attempted, in U.S. federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of the PlayStation, on the grounds that Nintendo owned the name. The federal judge presiding over the case denied the injunction. Thus, in October 1991, the first incarnation of the new Sony Playstation was revealed. As for the deal between Philips and Nintendo, it fell through as well. However, because of the deal, Philips was able to create games for its CD-i computer based on Nintendo licenses. The games were terrible, and seen as another attempt by Philips to market the ill-fated computer.

The PlayStation was officially launched in Japan on December 3, 1994, the USA on September 9, 1995 and Europe on September 29, 1995. In America, Sony enjoyed a very successful launch with titles of almost every genre including Toshinden, Twisted Metal, Warhawk, Philosoma, Wipeout and Ridge Racer. Almost all of Sony's and Namco's launch titles went on to produce numerous sequels.

The PlayStation was also able to generate interest with a unique slew of ad campaigns. Many of the ads released at the time of launch were full of ambiguous content which had many gamers rabidly debating their meanings. The most well-known launch ads include the "Enos Lives" campaign, and the "You Are Not E" ads (the "E" in "You Are Not E" was always coloured in red, to symbolize the word "ready", and the "Enos" meant "ready Ninth Of September", the U.S. launch date). It is believed that these ads were an attempt to play off the gaming public's suspicion towards Sony as an unknown, untested quantity in the video game market.

The first new version was actually a revision in early 1996, produced in response to complaints that PlayStations were overheating. Sony did not change the technical aspects or the cosmetics but did remove the RCA ports left over from the Japanese release. The parallel port (which was mostly unused by Sony) was also removed to reduce production costs. Sony also slightly improved the laser assembly. Many gamers experienced skipping full-motion video or dreaded physical "ticking" noises coming from their PlayStations. The seemingly universal fix for this was to turn one's PlayStation sideways or upside-down—although some gamers smacked the lid of the PlayStation to make a game load or work. This problem was carried over to many first-generation PlayStation 2s in the form of the very well known Disc Read Error message.

Sony produced a redesigned version of the original console, called the PSone, in a smaller (and more ergonomic) case which was introduced in September 2000. The original PlayStation was abbreviated in Japan to "PS" and was often abbreviated as "PSX" by American gamers, as this was Sony's internal code name for the system while it was under development (PlayStation Xperimental). This led to some confusion in 2003, when Sony introduced a PS2-derived system in Japan actually called the PSX. The PlayStation is now officially abbreviated as the "PS1" or "PSone," although many people still abbreviate it "PS" or "PSX". There were only 2 differences between the "PSone" and the original, the first one being cosmetic change to the console, and the second one was the home menu's Graphical User Interface.

A version of the PlayStation called the Net Yaroze was also produced. It was more expensive than the original PlayStation, coloured black instead of the usual gray, and most importantly, came with tools and instructions that allowed a user to be able to program PlayStation games and applications without the need for a full developer suite, which cost many times the amount of a PlayStation and was only available to approved video game developers. Naturally, the Net Yaroze lacked many of the features the full developer suite provided. Programmers were also limited by the 2MB of total game space that Net Yaroze allowed. That means, your whole game had to be crammed into the 2MB of system RAM. You couldn't officially make actual game discs. The amount of space may seem small, but games like Ridge Racer, ran entirely from the system RAM (except for the streamed music tracks of course). It was unique in that it was the only officially retailed Sony PlayStation with no regional lockout; it would play games from any territory.

Another version that was coloured blue (as opposed to regular console units that were grey in colour) was available to game developers and select press. Later versions of this were coloured green. Contrary to popular belief, the RAM was not 4 megabytes but instead the standard 2 megabytes. The console included a CD-ROM emulator board connected to a PC. It was also able to run in-development games which lacked region coding (which would be rejected by a normal PlayStation as though they were pirated copies). A few of these units eventually appeared for sale through somewhat dubious channels at high prices.

The installation of a modchip allows the PlayStation's capabilities to be expanded. This allows unauthorized copies of games to be played, but it also allows the playing of games from other regions, such as PAL titles on a NTSC console. Since modchips allow playing games recorded on a regular CD-ROM, it created a wave of games developed without official Sony approval, using free GNU compiler tools.

The console was extremely popular, spawning the so-called "PlayStation Generation". Well known titles on the PlayStation include Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy 7, Resident Evil, Tekken, Wipeout, Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Parasite Eve, Silent Hill, and Metal Gear Solid. As of May 18, 2004, Sony has shipped 100 million PlayStation and PSone consoles throughout the world. As of March 2004, there were 7,300 software titles available with cumulative software shipment of 949 million. The PlayStation logo was designed by Manabu Sakamoto, who also designed the logo for Sony's VAIO computer products.

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Cool Boarders 3

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£5.00
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£5.00

Race at thunderous speeds while carving through fresh powder on a wide range of gut wrenching courses. Encounter razor sharp turns, intimidating jumps, enormous moguls, treacherous ice and countless obstacles. Twice as many courses as last year. Pull off killer tricks like "Mistys," "melancholy's," "Methods," "Stiffys" and "Japan Air," plus thousands of combos of flips, spins and grabs. All new fighting allows you to punch your opponent while racing. Lifelike boarders carve through courses textured to perfection illustrating amazing detail to rocks, bumps, ice, jumps, canyons, and cliffs. The most breathtaking mountain views this side of the Rockies! Battle for the win while racing against opponents in the Downhill, Boardercross and Slalom events or go for huge air in the Half Pipe, Big Air and Slope Style events.

Cool Boarders

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£5.00
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£5.00

Unbelievable next generation graphics and awesome control deliver the ultimate snowboarding experience. Five daring downhill courses. Carve and shred in 3D texture mapped alpine tracks that require the highest levels of skill and intensity. Choose from ten hardcore snowboards. Each board has its own unique attributes and design. Awesome characters with their own unique attitude and style. Catch air and pull off manoeuvres like 360's, 1440's, flips, back and front-side board grabs, ollies, spins, and fakies. Innovative ghost data allows you to race against the replay of your best run. Eight rippin' CD sound tracks & two dynamic playing perspectives that intensify the experience.

Command and Conquer - Retaliation

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£16.00
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£16.00

The rumours of new Red Alert missions are true! Intelligence sources confirm that Retaliation delivers clandestine activity, forbidden weapons and disavowed tactics in a no-holds-barred battle for supremacy. Now, you must decide the ultimate fate of the conflict between the Allies and Soviets.

Command and Conquer - Red Alert

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£12.00
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£12.00

Command & Conquer Red Alert gives you the opportunity to be more devious, cunning and ruthless than ever before. Easy to play and addictive fun, Red Alert puts the fate of the world in your hands! Take your fight over land, sea and air with MiGs, spies, destroyers, submarines and more. Choose your weapons. Defend your base with Tesla Coils, AA guns, camouflaged pill boxes and guard dogs. Surprise the enemy with the Iron Curtain, the Chronosphere, the Gap Generator and an arsenal of powerful weapons. Two sides to choose from. Over two dozen Allied and Soviet missions on two action packed CDs.

Command and Conquer

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£10.00
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£10.00

The PC game of the year continues its quest for World Domination on the Playstation. Build and better your bases, unite or divide your forces. Develop and utilise guerrilla tactics and a wealth of potent electronic hardware in your attempt to crush the opposition. Every action can so easily trigger a fast and violent reaction. Every real time battle can so easily rage long and hard. Do you have the agility and stamina to keep up the pace?

Colony Wars Vengeance

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£5.00
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£5.00

Crushed by the League of Free Worlds a century ago, your defeated people cry out for retribution. As a loyal Navy pilot, engage in dizzying space battles and brutal dogfights, facing mission after punishing mission in an all-out campaign for vengeance at any cost.

Colin McRae Rally 2 and No Fear Downhill

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£7.00
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£7.00

Colin McRae Rally 2

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£7.00
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£7.00

Drive the worlds best rally cars past and present from Ford Focus to Mitsubishi Lancer to Mini Cooper. Over 90 new international rally tracks and three new countries - Kenya, Finland and Italy. New Arcade Rally Mode - six car racing and multiple split screen two player options. 2 - 4 players alternate play in Championship mode - the ultimate rally experience.

Colin McRae Rally

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£7.00
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£7.00

European rally racing. It'll turn you inside out and suck every ounce of adrenaline you have. It's totally unforgiving. But you'll love every second of it! Ice, snow, gravel, tarmac and mud. If you can't handle it.go home! Round the world racing. Eight countries. Forty-eight grinding international courses. Eleven precisely modelled World Rally cars.

City of the Lost Children

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£20.00
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£20.00

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